For as long as I can remember, stray animals have been an issue in these parts. Cats, perhaps, more than dogs, since the feline is so much more independent, easier to hide, and harder to catch than the K-9 variety. Also, I think dogs are more identifiable and easier to tell who owns it, where as a cat can be lost in the crowd and drift into nothing but a memory before too long.
Seems that’s why it’s so easy for people to open the door and show the cat where to go once they don’t want it anymore.
Here’s your typical lifecycle of the Newfoundland house cat: Get cat, love cat, feed cat, play with cat, cat start shedding, get mad at cat, feed cat, realize cat costs too much money, yell at cat, cat start clawing the furniture, yell at cat again, stop feeding cat, cat get angry, cat not play nice anymore, be at war with cat, cat fight back with vengeance, yell at cat again, leave door open, cat refuse to go outside, put cat outside, close door, say bye to cat, tell daughter cat ran away, daughter cry, buy daughter new cat, and repeat.
Meanwhile, that first cat is still out there – roaming, exploring, and trying its best to survive on its new natural instinct.
Then all of a sudden, that cat does what a cat does, and finds a mate. Nature happens, and now, you’ve got a whole new generation of felines that the mother will take care of, nurse, and bring up to show the ways of the world. In the wild.
Time goes on, and the same happens to all of those cats. Then their young, and their young – sooner or later, there’s a huge population of these animals running around – all descended from that one original feline back in the day that you got made at and threw out the door. Before you know it, we find ourselves where many of us are today. Overrun by cats – and its our fault.
This isn’t a foreign concept to us here in Newfoundland. We did the same thing with the moose back in the early 1900s. Both times it was stupid of us to do what we did, but we didn’t have the foresight then, and we don’t have it now. So what do we do?
Bob Barker said it best, and drove his point home almost as much as he watched people spin the big wheel. “Have your pets spayed or neutered” became his mantra and slogan for the decades he graced the screen and ended up synonymous with him, and the Price is Right in general.
Too bad so few people listened to him, or we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in now.